In my journey to half a million miles in a Tesla began with ordering the car. Based on my experience, I want to pass on a few tips for anyone who is considering buying a Tesla.
After my test drives of the Model 3 and Y, I decided that the 3 would be best for our family. The Model 3 was a little less expensive and had better range while still having enough space for Misty, Rue, and me.
Buying a car online was a new experience for me. Here are 5 tips to make your experience better if you decide to buy a Tesla too.
TIP: My referral code is at the bottom of this article and will net you 1000 free Supercharger miles if you use it to buy yours.
Tip 1: Know When to Buy
I was lucky that my birthday landed when it does. It happens to coincide with the end of the 1st quarter. That was significant because Tesla completes its deliveries quarterly.
It’s important to know when your area deliveries happen because it can impact when you get your car. I was able to order my Model 3 on a Sunday and take delivery on Thursday that same week. When and how you order will affect your delivery time.
- Take a look at this site.
- Talk with your Tesla rep about the dates.
- Chat with support on their website.
- Look at some of the Tesla forums or post a question in one of the forums
- If you are ordering a new model like the Cybertruck, either get in early or wait until production ramps up to ensure better quality. Please take a look at the video below for more information directly from Elon himself.
Tip 2: Check Existing Inventory
I got my Model 3 quickly because I bought it from the existing inventory.
Existing inventory is made up of demo vehicles and vehicles slated to be built. This might include people who wanted a Tesla but decided not to buy or pre-built inventory.
At the time I’m writing this, there are 0 vehicles in my area available. That’s because we are at the beginning of the quarter, early April. Waiting until near the end can be beneficial, especially if you don’t care about colors and wheel choice.
On the other hand, sometimes, you can save $1000 or more on a demo vehicle. The mileage can range from a few hundred to a couple thousand, but it’s still treated as new, and you still get the rebates. Why not save? It can be a great way of getting color/wheel options that would otherwise cost you extra.
Tip 3: Trade-In Tips (Bonus)
As I was trying to estimate the cost of getting a Model 3, I was able to get the value of my trade-in ahead of time. This was helpful in better understanding the final cost to me. Here are a couple of tips in this area:
- Trade-in values only last for 7 days, and you cannot add more than 1000 miles before you need to get a new estimate.
- Do more than one estimate if you can. My trade value actually went up.
- Talk to a rep either online or in-store about your trade. This is one area that Tesla can negotiate to some degree.
- When you purchase your vehicle and add your trade be ready to add photos of your current vehicle. (A smartphone works best for this)
Tip 4: Be Ready to Wait
Buying a car online through Tesla was a pretty painless experience for the most part. When you first put your $100 deposit down, you get an email right away. From there, Tesla sends you emails when something new is ready to be completed, and they give you a list of items to complete in your Tesla Account as a way to track your order.
Tesla could do a better job of giving you time estimates or status updates on how long something should take, but overall it’s a pretty good experience. That isn’t the case with all online car buying experiences. In the video I linked below from one of my favorite YouTube Channels, The Fast Lane, you can see how badly an experience can go.
After adding my trade-in and images, it took almost 3 days before receiving my confirmation back about the final value. Someone reviews the photos you took to verify the final value, and when that is done, you get the final value. This part was not well explained in the process, and it would be helpful if there had been a status update.
There are a few other areas like this throughout the buying experience. I didn’t finance a vehicle; I can only speculate that financing could be another one of those areas. Also, try to talk with the rep that gets assigned to you or the dealership they work for if you have questions. Calling the 800 number will only result in Tesla telling you to call your rep.
My rep gave me some time estimates, which was helpful, but it was hard sometimes to get a hold of them.
Tip 5: Understand the Final Cost
There are tons of videos out there that show people taking you through their final cost on YouTube, which can help estimate your cost. However, every experience will be a bit different.
Here are few things that will be the same:
- A $100 order fee no matter what.
- You have to pay sales tax. Sometimes people forget that.
- A roughly $1200 destination fee for every vehicle. This is true even if you pick it up at the plant.
- Potential transportation fee if they need to truck it to your home.
- Your insurance will likely go up. Shop around and see what the best deal is. If you are in California, at least look at Tesla’s insurance. To get a quote online, you have to have your VIN, but you can call instead, and they can still give an estimate without one. 1–844–34-TESLA
- Financing adds its own extra costs. Be aware of those.
- Understand the registration process and costs associated with your state
Those are my 5 tips on buying a Tesla. The online experience was one of the best car buying experiences I have ever had. I didn’t have to sit and haggle with someone for hours and was able to get the process started while on vacation. However, it did come with some hiccups here and there. If you head into your purchase with those in mind, you’ll have a great experience.